Senate debates

Tuesday, 19 October 2021

Statements by Senators

Climate Change

1:44 pm

Photo of Tim AyresTim Ayres (NSW, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Question time is almost upon us, and I have a question for the other side: what on earth is going on? Last week the Prime Minister outsourced decision making on climate and energy policy to the National Party, but yesterday he told the Liberal party room that it was a cabinet decision. These jokers in the National Party are parading around the parliament, talking into telephones. Nobody's there. They are having meetings in a room with themselves. They're not relevant to the debate on climate and energy anymore. What on earth is going on? This means the Prime Minister has abrogated his responsibility entirely. There are no party room decisions. There is no capacity to deliver it through the parliament. The Prime Minister's decision on net zero is just an announcement with no follow-through. It'll be treated with utter contempt by the international community and by Australian voters.

One of these jokers was on the television the other day saying, 'We've only had four hours to consider it.' Well, you've had 71,125 hours to work your way through this not-very-complicated problem. Maybe, thank heavens, the National Party is not in charge and is irrelevant to this. Their proposal the week before last was a $250 billion loan facility that the mining industry doesn't want—$10,000 for every man, woman and child in Australia. Senator Canavan says it would put up interest rates, mortgage rates and the cost of borrowing for Australian businesses. Well, he'd know. He's an economist of sorts. This is an absolute tragedy: the decline of the National Party into the hopeless, irrelevant rump that they have always been heading towards.